PCM replacement?

Well it appears as though my car needs its PCM replaced. This is just the start. With absolutely no warning at all, the computer dies?? They are quoting me $754 at a minimum, because they are not sure if
something else will be reported once they can actually get it hooked up to the computer. GRRRR. Has anyone else has this problem? They can't tell me why it happened either. Other than of course the warranty is up and I just finished paying it off.
Megan
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sorry Megan, never heard of this! sure its not a power failure to the pcm or something like that?

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Computers these days seldom fail unless they are damaged by an improper boost or charge. Who is "they"? This kind of problem is best left to a good dealer or highly qualified shop with extensive diagnostic capability, for sure no one on a newsgroup is going to be able to diagnose it. A lot of money is wasted replacing perfectly good computers when the problem is really in the wiring.
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The car is currently at a dealership in my town, however I don't really trust them much. If the computer was not working, wouldn't they know it right away, instead of taking 4 hours to diagnose? How do I know that just the chip doesn't need replacement or something smaller than the entire computer? I just have a feeling Ithat 'm being ripped off. I keep searching Technical service bulletins that are out on the web, but I don't see anything that pertains to the entire PCM going awry. It just seems like a big repair for a 5 year old car..
Even if they have good diagnostic abilities, they aren't good at communicating that with me. I asked them for detail repair quotes and when I stopped by to pick it up, the service rep had written the price on the back of his business card. He couldn't tell me why the computer would break or why there wouldn't be any indication of problems.. wouldn't you guess there would be some kind of "log" on the computer they could access?? I'm just mystified and annoyed that there isn't more information available...
Sorry to be so whiney, Megan Dave Gower wrote:

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Are you a member of some Automobile Association? They might help their members with an advice on subjects like this. At least they do in The netherlands. Thibaud
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com schreef:

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Just an update for anyone who cares...
So my focus has been at the dealership for over a week. I wouldn't know a thing unless I called them everyday. They NEVER call me first. I called everyday last week to check in on what was going on.. nothing until Friday. Each day I called I was promised they would let me know as soon as something came in (the PCM) for installation. I called Friday afternoon and they had already installed the PCM and then went ahead and ordered a diode because apparently I needed one too. So fumed and pissed I waited all weekend to hear back today about when they would finish with the diode and I could finally fork over fort knox to them to get my car back (approx $1100 and counting). Lo and behold, NO PHONE CALLS. I call the service manager to ask what is going on, and get his voicemail. The service tech who has been "dealing" with my case calls me back about an hour later and says that guess what, I need a new alternator too. Might as well! Luckily (?) I had the alternator replaced in Oct of 2004 so it was under warranty (the part) but not the labor. They are thinking now (don't hold your breath) that the alternator is the devil of it all and caused the problem with the PCM and diode.. etc etc.
I am so annoyed with this dealership, I will get my car back which they refuse to budge any price on (past warranty) and sell the thing as soon as possible.
The 2000 Ford Focus is the devil. Thibaud Taudin Chabot wrote:

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Megan, I am in the same boat... after having my 00 ZX3 in the shop for 10 times for the same freakin' problem, guess what? Now they are replacing the PCM... UGH! And I just had it to them two weeks prior for the same thing and they said it was the wire that went from the PCM to the distributor... It always starts out it the engine running rough, goes into fail safe mode, check engine light pops on, error code of P257.
Honestly, this car should have been declared a lemon loooooong ago. I should have pushed them on it. I am going to now. Honestly, this car has been out of commission about 6-8 months total for the same problem since I bought it new exactly 6 years ago yesterday. It has been idle for almost two months in the past year alone, with the same problem. Here in NY I recently found out that you have to have it declared a lemon with in two years or 18K miles, I am out of that range, but I am going to see what can be done. I am a jerk for not putting my foot down sooner, and I have the feeling that Ford will be thumbing their nose at me while they pocket my money. Honestly, I am going to have to sell this lemon... Which totally sucks because the car is fun to drive, but I cannot trust it anymore.
Honestly this Ford sucks... Their engineers do not know their a** from a hole in the wall. I have had replaced for this one car: - 4 fuel pumps - 1 distributor - 2 PCM cables - 2 TP sensor - so many diagnostic hours that I do not want to even think about it.
All these things because the 'Ford Engineer' tells them to do so... I have been to three dealers for the same problem, one I would never go back to, Miracle Ford here in NY. I told their owner I would not even step foot in their dealership even if I needed to call 911 because my car was on fire!
Good, luck, keep us posted! Kevin
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Megan, I am in the same boat... after having my 00 ZX3 in the shop for 10 times for the same freakin' problem, guess what? Now they are replacing the PCM... UGH! And I just had it to them two weeks prior for the same thing and they said it was the wire that went from the PCM to the distributor... It always starts out it the engine running rough, goes into fail safe mode, check engine light pops on, error code of P257.
Honestly, this car should have been declared a lemon loooooong ago. I should have pushed them on it. I am going to now. Honestly, this car has been out of commission about 6-8 months total for the same problem since I bought it new exactly 6 years ago yesterday. It has been idle for almost two months in the past year alone, with the same problem. Here in NY I recently found out that you have to have it declared a lemon with in two years or 18K miles, I am out of that range, but I am going to see what can be done. I am a jerk for not putting my foot down sooner, and I have the feeling that Ford will be thumbing their nose at me while they pocket my money. Honestly, I am going to have to sell this lemon... Which totally sucks because the car is fun to drive, but I cannot trust it anymore.
Honestly this Ford sucks... Their engineers do not know their a** from a hole in the wall. I have had replaced for this one car: - 4 fuel pumps - 1 distributor - 2 PCM cables - 2 TP sensor - so many diagnostic hours that I do not want to even think about it.
All these things because the 'Ford Engineer' tells them to do so... I have been to three dealers for the same problem, one I would never go back to, Miracle Ford here in NY. I told their owner I would not even step foot in their dealership even if I needed to call 911 because my car was on fire!
Good, luck, keep us posted! Kevin
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I feel your pain. Unfortunately until now I've never really had any problems! I have been one of the Focus owners saying, well at least mine managed to squeak by OK. I'm religious about oil changes and such and have never had any big problems before. This was the first time. I talked with the service manager who said that I was pretty much out of luck about the warranty, since I have over 110,000 miles on it, and the pcm is only under warranty 100,000 miles and 8 years or something. Nevertheless, every shop I called to have a quote put together (with the MEAGER information I could get out of the dealership) said they never heard of a PCM going bad before. So I still don't even trust that the PCM was the problem in the first place. Maybe the diode, the alternator? the wires? Things they replaced AFTER the PCM was replaced and found out that the car still wouldn't start. The alternator was at least under warranty and the company who built it was very friendly about exchanging it for a new one, even taking my phone number and tagging the part to let me know if the alternator had severe problems. I questioned them whether or not they would reimburse me for all the other work if the alternator was the cause and they, like the dealership, refuse to give any information as to HOW on earth the entire scenario happened. I have written a letter to ford and doubt it will do anything, but I'll keep screaming!
Good luck :( Megan
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Megan, I got my car back late last week after having the PCM replaced... They used a remanufactured part, cost about $350US, I forgot the exact amount. They told me even after they swapped out the PCM to prove that is what the problem was, the Ford engineers still were trying to say the PCM could not have gone bad... Yeahhhhhh....
Where did you hear that the PCM was warrantied for 100Kmi/8 years? I don't have that many miles on my ZX3 and still a few years shy of 8 obviously... If what you are saying is true, I need to go back to the dealer and ask for my $$ back!!!!!
I have been using Pine Plains Ford here in NY... A nice 'old school' shop... Even after they followed 'the book' on how FOrd wants things done, it came down to the mechanic just doing what needed to be done based on his years of experience and know how... And THAT is what fixed (Knock on wood...) the problem.
Kevin
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Kevin,
Sorry to reply so late, but I got this information out of a service technician at the Ford Dealership in Middleton Wisconsin. Their official title is Middleton Ford, on Century Avenue, if you want to call and talk to them. Hey, and the guy I talked to who told me that, is Andrew!
Good luck! :(
Megan
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Dave Gower wrote:

Or by test procedures improperly carried out...!

In the UK, a "cottage industry" has built up repairing failed ECU's. (That's what we call "car computers"). Typically, the ECU is sent away (together with its PATS key) to be repaired for a fixed price. This can be as little as 1/3 of the price of a new ECU.
The usual failure is only of an output transistor or something equally trivial, so the repaired unit is as good as new.
It might be worth investigating whether a local independent garage could do this for you.
HTH
Chris
--
Remove prejudice to reply.

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